Commercial Amazon Inches Closer to Acquiring One Medical

Amazon Inches Closer to Acquiring One Medical

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Amazon has moved closer to finalizing its $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical after receiving approval from Oregon’s health agency.

Now that it has gotten beyond that potential regulatory roadblock, the tech giant can focus on expanding its footprint in the healthcare sector. There is still the matter of regulatory approval for the acquisition. The planned merger is being looked into by the Federal Trade Commission.

The acquisition of One Medical, which Amazon first announced in July, will give the company access to 188 additional medical facilities in nearly 30 markets.

One Medical, the tech-focused primary care platform, has over 800,000 members at present and has partnered with 8,000 employers. The Health Care Market Oversight program at the Oregon Health Authority analyzes mergers and acquisitions to determine how they might affect healthcare prices, availability, and equity. Since One Medical runs five primary care clinics in Oregon, the transaction is subject to Oregon law.

The Oregon Health Authority gave the proposal its clearance after a preliminary review period of 30 days, with several stipulations. One of these stipulations is that Amazon and One Medical must share data about their operations, including the number of patients they treat, the standard of care they deliver, and any shifts in leadership or structure. These reports are due every six months for a period of five years.

In addition, OHA stated that it would perform its own follow-up investigation to assess the effects on care quality, access to care, cost, and health equity one, two, and five years after the deal is finalized.

The acquisition is not expected to significantly diminish Oregonians’ access to low-cost medical care, according to a preliminary study. OHA noted in its assessment that the companies have stated their intention to increase patient access by expanding One Medical’s network of clinics.

Although OHA accepted that a merger with Amazon, with its sophisticated supply chain and buying power, may result in efficiency and cost reductions for One Medical, it also noted that these savings might not be carried on to customers.

Given the size implications of the transaction and the fact that One Medical’s patients represent a very tiny proportion of primary care patients in the Portland Metro area, the agency has determined that a thorough assessment of the deal is not needed.

The health agency did, however, note possible equity concerns if One Medical were to shift commercially insured customers paying higher payment rates away from clinics that primarily serve patients funded by Medicaid and Medicare.

“Those concerns are somewhat mitigated by the fact that One Medical has a small footprint in Oregon and operates in urban areas with many other primary care provider options,” officials stated.

In 2022, Amazon made a number of significant moves in the healthcare sector. Back in August, the announcement that the tech giant would be discontinuing its hybrid health service, Amazon Care, at the end of the year came as a shock to the industry. The company subsequently released Amazon Clinic, an online medical facility designed to address common medical issues including asthma, eczema, and psoriasis.

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